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Food complaints

Food complaints and incidents

It is an offence to place food on the market which fails to comply with food safety requirements e.g.​ it is unfit for human consumption or is so contaminated that it would not be reasonable to expect it to be consumed in that condition. Read The General Food Regulations 2004 (60KB).

Our policy

The City of London will take a common sense approach to investigating complaints, choosing sensible action, appropriate to the risk and the need for public protection. We will investigate complaints about food purchased or made within the City of London. The level of investigation will depend upon the nature of the complaint, the risk posed to health, the professional judgment of the investigating officer and previous knowledge of similar complaints.

We acknowledge our duty to investigate but we will consider food complaint incidents in the overall context of the total production, supply and sale of food in the UK. This means we will consider the priority to be placed on investigating complaints when compared with the proactive inspection of food premises where concentration on the improvement of hygiene and food standards controls could result in more effective public protection.

Our investigation

Some common problems are covered in additional information which also suggests advice on the best courses of action. Further information on 'use by' can be also be found from the DEFRA website. ​Read the Guidance on the application of date labels to food ​​

​An investigation may range from visual examination and identification of a foreign object to in-depth analysis of the food, e.g. by a Public Analyst.

Deciding whether the complaint requires further investigation is based on the nature of the concern, the risk presented to health and the need for public protection.

Things we cannot do

We cannot get a refund for your food and it is your decision as to whether to pursue the food complaint through us or to return it to the place of purchase for the supplier to carry out an investigation.

The issue of any compensation is not dealt with by this service. It is more appropriate to approach the retailer/producer directly or to seek you own legal advice. City workers and residents can obtain advice on legal issues from Toynbee Hall

If you allow us to investigate your complaint we are unlikely to be able to return the food to you.​Common Problems​